On January 24, United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson signed the Withdrawal Agreement — finalizing the decision to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Regarding the signing, the prime minister wrote in a tweet, “today I have signed the Withdrawal Agreement for the UK to leave the EU on January 31st, honouring the democratic mandate of the British people. This signature heralds a new chapter in our nation’s history.”
While the UK will be leaving the EU, the question remains of whether or not the two parties will be able to agree to a trade deal.
Still, as many investors remain concerned regarding the UK’s decision to leave the EU, British markets performed well following Boris Johnson’s election win. Moreover, large UK-based companies stand to benefit from foreign investors returning to the British market.
Germany GDP Slump
In 2019, Germany’s GDP grew by a very modest 0.6% — the smallest jump since 2013. However, while the German economy saw a bit of a slowdown last year, it seems to be rebounding to open 2020.
Though Germany’s economy was nearing recession at one point, the country “has now one of the highest investment figures we ever had in history,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Bloomberg Television. He continued, “now with the surplus we have all the possibility to be strong in this field as anyone asks us to be and as we really want ourselves.”
The German economy may not experience a major turnaround this year, but the apparent stabilization of the economy is a good sign for the country.
France Pushes for Foreign Investments
France’s economy has been heavily impacted by country-wide strikes and protests. Most recently, the country experienced six weeks of protests due to Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform the French retirement system.
In response, France’s president is pushing for more foreign investments. As part of this push, Macron announced a $2.2 billion contract for Saint-Nazaire — a French shipyard.
Macron also hosted a number of international business executives to encourage new investments. This includes executives from major companies like Toyota, Coca-Cola, Google, and more.
European Union: ECB Launches Strategic Review
On January 23, the European Central Bank (ECB) launched its first strategic review in nearly two decades.
ECB President Christine Lagarde stated, “As our economies are undergoing profound changes, it is the time for a strategy review to ensure we deliver on our mandate in the best interest of Europeans.”
According to PNC Senior Economist, William Adams, the strategic review will lively not lead to any changes in the ECB’s continued accommodative policy stance. Adams notes in a recent CNBC interview that the European economy continues to suffer from slow growth, which is not likely to go away soon.
Article By: Connor Beam